Freel, 36, found dead

Former major-leaguer Ryan Freel, 36, was found dead in his Jacksonville, Fla., home Saturday. Authorities are investigating it as a possible suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot. Freel showed no fear as he ran into walls, hurtled into the seats and crashed into other players trying to make catches, but that career was cut short after eight seasons by head injuries.

Freel, who estimated he'd had up to 10 concussions, spent six of his eight seasons with Cincinnati and finished his career in 2009 with a .268 average and 143 steals.

Freel drew attention in 2006 when he was quoted by the Dayton Daily News as saying he had an imaginary friend, Farney. "He's a little guy who lives in my head who talks to me and I talk to him," Freel said. "Everybody thinks I talk to myself, so I tell 'em I'm talking to Farney."


Green scores 25 in Dirk's return

North Babylon's Danny Green scored a career-high 25 points as the host San Antonio Spurs spoiled Dirk Nowitzki's season debut with a 129-91 rout of the Dallas Mavericks. The Spurs were 20-for-30 from three-point range and led by as many as 46. After missing the Mavericks' first 27 regular-season games because of surgery on his right knee, Nowitzki had eight points and six rebounds in 20 minutes . . . Chris Paul had 17 points and 13 assists as the Los Angeles Clippers won their 13th straight, 103-77, over host Phoenix . . . Marcus Thornton scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half as the host Sacramento Kings snapped the Portland Trail Blazers' five-game winning streak with a 108-96 victory . . . Paul Millsap scored 18 points as the Utah Jazz beat the host Orlando Magic, 97-93.


Hofstra women top Northwestern

Andreana Thomas (14 points) hit a three-pointer that snapped a tie at 47 during a 10-0 run as the Hofstra women's basketball team defeated Northwestern, 63-54, in the final of the New York Life Holiday Invitational at the Mack Sports Complex. Shante Evans had a season-high 26 points and 14 rebounds for Hofstra (3-7). Northwestern is 7-5. -- AP

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